Wales hatching plan to nullify Sexton and Murray

Wales hatching plan to nullify Sexton and Murray

Warren Gatland named British and Irish Lions Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Biggar back in his starting line-up earlier this week after all three sat out Wales' 12-6 loss to England on February 10.

"We have got to put Conor and his kicking game under pressure and we have to be prepared to be pretty physical against them".

"We've got to attack them". We have had some pretty good success not allowing Johnny (Sexton) too much time and space on the ball.

"We've got to attack them", said Gatland during his pre-match press conference this afternoon.

"We've got to make sure we don't give Ireland an opportunity to kick to the sidelines by giving away penalties and execute their driving lineout, which is pretty effective, and allow Johnny Sexton to keep their scoreboard ticking over".

Biggar has not played since limping out of the Ospreys' Champions Cup defeat to Clermont Auvergne last month. Williams start at right wing in place of Josh Adams and Bigger replaces Rhys Patchell. On top of which, he leads the defensive effort quickly and puts his body on the line. It is a headache for the coaches I am sure but is a good thing for us.

Welsh hooker Ken Owens says coach Warren Gatland gets a raw deal

Head to head, the record of the men in green against Warren Gatlands team recently are poor, they haven't won a Six Nations Championship match against Wales, since the 26-3 victory back in 2014 - the "favourites" have it all to do.

"He has transformed Wales and we are always there or thereabouts now, a tough team to break down; we have won the Six Nations three times under him".

Despite losing that game, Gatland is bullish about his side's prospects and dismissed the notion that Ireland are the best team in the tournament. They've probably got a decision to make at 13, whether that's Farrell or somebody else in the squad.

"We know plenty about them". "We know how important the game is and we are treating it as one game on its own".

"I think we are playing some really good stuff now". They tend to be close encounters. "This weekend is about the performance and the result in a must-win game for us". "Ireland have got an excellent kicking game and their half-back combination is one of the best in world rugby". They hadn't lost a home test since 2008 or 2009, and we beat them [in Wellington].